Do you remember what you were doing in 1991-92? Hardly, but CES and some customers remember the humble beginnings of what is now one of the hottest trends in aquatics — remote monitoring and control. As a brief overview, the 4 major categories of Remote Monitoring, Control and Communications are:
- Remote Monitoring of real timeconditions, optimally from a wide variety of mobile devices
- Digital Log Keeping down to 1 minute increments, and review of logs
- Full Two-way Remote Control of any connected device (pumps, filters, heaters, chlorinators, water fill)
- Escalating Alert Notification of any out of range parameter until the issue is resolved
Getting one or two of these is nice… but the real goal is to achieve the “Big 4”…all of them. Read on.
Sure, the early origins were primitive by today’s standards, and were based on phone line connections, which were expensive, slow, and kind of a pain to set up. Your 1992 Model 720 controller would answer the phone, speak in a synthesized voice, and tell you the readings, the current alarms, etc. but you couldn’t really take any direct action or change settings. You just knew there was a problem… and that was awesome. But that only addressed one or two of the “Big 4″ above. The 720 DVT (Digital Voice Telecommunicator) ad read: “Your Pool Can’t Wait to Talk to You”… and little did we know what the future would bring.
We operated those systems for years and you could not convince the customers that it wasn’t the best thing since sliced bread. Fast forward a few years to the late 1990s, and the Strantrol System4, System5 and System7 came out. These allowed two way communication, but we lost the voice and alert notification. We could monitor and store logs, but couldn’t change much on site. Again we were providing a unique service enjoyed by many premier pools and condos alike, but we knew there was more…
Fast forward again to 2006, when BECS Technology, makers of the Strantrol systems, came out with upgraded models labeled under the BECS name. The ability to communicate took a quantum leap. The phone lines went away, and communication protocol switched to ethernet and internet. We became big fans. We quickly found out that by switching to ethernet, we traded synthesized voices and pager alerts, for the ability to communicate via text and email. THAT was a game changer. At that time many hundreds of CES customers got connected, started monitoring their own facilities, and we expanded our monitoring program exponentially, providing monitoring, remote control, and “cyberservice.” More about cyberservice later.
Now, fast forward to 2013, when we announced some very major innovations including: a phone app that allowed customers to be in constant contact with their pools on property, across town, and around the world. This filled a huge gap because folks didn’t always carry around a laptop, but always wanted to stay connected to their pools. We didn’t allow calibration by phone for security reasons, but it was another game changer for sure.
But that wasn’t enough. A few years later we introduced gigabit speed and EZ Connect, which provided 7-layers of security for connections and data (requested by some, but absolutely required by the most discerning public or military facilities). We added 1-year on-board data storage, and tremendously simplified the way controllers connected on any local open network… whether wired or wireless. We also started providing our own network to those facilities where the IT department completely locks down all internet traffic.
All these years we had been monitoring the controllers using a proprietary BECS program, which allowed us to look at pool readings down to 6-second increments and program hundreds of controller parameters, change alert notification recipients and timing, monitor in real time while logging and controlling all parameters (chemistry, system flow, filter cleanliness, water autofill flow, water consumption, pump vital signs (TDH) and much more.) We provided the program for free, but many folks asked us to handle the entire remote controller programming and log keeping process. So we started keeping their logs, storing them securely on several servers, and making them available when they needed to protect their facilities from frivolous liability issues. On other occasions, we would take a deep dive into the logs to resolve an intermittent hiccup, working with customers on the other end of the phone to find out who poured what into the pool at specific times, what happened to the pump or filters on certain days, etc. Reading the graphs like your doctor reads your EKG, our team became very proficient in resolving issues remotely, giving birth to CES’s cyberservice program.
All the above is indeed very valuable, but we wanted to give customers an easier and quicker way to interface with their controllers, and have helped develop a web-based program to give customers total access to their systems via their smart phones, tablets, and PCs… without loading any manipulating and complex programs. The BECSysLive is the most recent development to help us provide all facets of the “Big 4” above. Customers get proactive email reports complete with readings recap, graphs on all parameters, controller calibrations, test kit readings, and more… wow.
We’d like to say we’ve finally arrived at the end… but we’re already working on the next step.
Find out how inexpensive and valuable it is to get connected to your equipment room, and stay connected with the leading monitoring program in the US. Our Silver, Gold, and Platinum monitoring programs offer a ton of value for a reasonable price, and there is more to come. Years ago, getting connected to your pool was nice, however in today’s complex world, it is a best practice necessity. Learn more and sign up today.
Thanks for your decades of confidence, and remember what we learned 30 years ago… “Your pool cant wait to talk to you”…..